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In the age of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and a million other ways to connect online, there is still something extra special about face-to-face networking events organized online ie. Meetups! If you can’t even get a few friends together for dinner once a month, much less a group of strangers to talk about voice overs, check out what we had the chance to do recently in Fort Myers, Florida for a Voice123 Meetup.

Alex Torrenegra, co-founder and CEO of Voice123, is a busy guy, so when he told me he would be in my neck of the woods for a conference, I jumped on the opportunity to have a Voice123 Meetup. I also needed to get out and meet people too, as a brand new Customer Relations Ninja here at Voice123.

I reserved a private area at one of Fort Myers’ favorite restaurants, Lush, and sent out invites on Facebook, Meetup.com, LinkedIn. We tweeted and sent an email campaign targeted at Florida voice talents.  These were all easy and free marketing efforts. The response was amazing!  Everyone was so excited to meet people they only previously knew from profile pics and avatars, that they began inviting their friends.  Voila! A successful meetup was born!  Now, voice talents from all over want to know when I will host one in their city.  Now, wouldn’t that be a dream job   traveling the world, throwing parties?!  Maybe someday.  But, really all that was needed was for someone to say,  “Here’s the time and place.  Let’s meet.”  You can be that person, too!

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A few tips for hosting a successful meetup:

  1. Set a defined purpose for the event.  ex: Alex Torrenegra was visiting and this was a chance for Voice123 voice talent, and those curious about the site, to get some personal time with the CEO.  How cool is that?!
  2. Invites were sent about a week and a half in advance, allowing some time for not only planning, but building up the event online.
  3. Respond to all comments on Facebook, Meetup.com, etc. promptly to ensure confidence “this is for real!”.
  4. Don’t go broke planning it!  Find a free space to meet. ex: A restaurant works great!
  5. Hopefully your end result will be like our Voice123 Meetup!

There was a great crowd on hand, from local actors, opera singers, the voice overs of national TV shows, and ad campaigns, even a harp-maker!  The major benefit for everyone was that we got out from behind the keyboard and reminded each other that voice overs is still a ‘people business’, and Voice123 is no different. Like voice talent, we are very passionate about what we do.  People met Alex, not as Mr. CEO Entrepreneur, but as a genuinely nice and passionate guy.

Meetups offer the chance to make connections in person, that feel more genuine and everlasting.  Anyone can fire off a huge email campaign, but to actually shake hands and smile with good people, means so much more in the digital age. The digital age helps you build your own voice over community. So… “If you build it, they will come.”